October 11, 2010

Under The Boardwalk: "Anastasia"

Gather round folks and come witness the great marvel of storytelling called "Boardwalk Empire." By now I imagine many of you have been watching HBO's new series and I've decided that I'm going to get back in "Lost Compass" and "24 Points" mode by doing a weekly recap called "Under The Boardwalk." I chose this name for because it is under the boardwalk that everything lands, and it will be my job to collect it all and make sense of it for you.

Last night's episode was titled "Anastasia" and no, I don't think they were referencing the 1997 animated film. Rather, our story last night used a newspaper story about a famed Russian princess maybe being alive to present the soaring dreams and the harsh pull of reality on our characters.

1. Let's focus on the coolest guy on the show: Chalky. Seen here on the left rocking a mean bowtie, he shared a similar fairy tale like story about his father. According to him, Chalky's Dad was a master artisan, capable of creating beautiful wood carvings, however, reality struck and his father was lynched. Chalky, trying to determine who lynched one of his bootleggers tortured the wrong man, a twisted way of the truth hitting you hard. The show is intense every time this character is on the screen, and you can thank Michael Kenneth Williams for that.

2. Can we please talk about Kelly MacDonald. This actress who plays Margaret Schroeder dominates every single scene she is in. Her story last night started off princess like with her doing well professionally and with her family. But by the end, once she got a taste of the high life, she was stealing clothes right off the rack. Her character's change is central to the show as it is in her that we see how the toxic shores of Atlantic City can corrupt even the purest of hearts. After all it was only two episodes ago she was refusing charity for Nucky.

3. The title of the show may change but everyone knows that Max Casella who plays Leo D'alessio on the show is the kid from "Newsies" and "Doogie Howser." Granted his outfit hasn't changed much but good for him to get back into the vest game. Now, if only he can bust out a sweet version of "King of New York" on HBO, that would truly be something.

4. For a gritty show about gangsters, booze, sex, and violence "Boardwalk Empire" certainly has tons of kids on it. Both Margaret and Jimmy Darmondy's wife have kids that get serious screen time. I think they're there to remind the viewers of both what is at stake and how childish people on the show can be. Darmody & Capone are basically men behaving like children, complete with zany pranks like firing guns next to each other's heads and bromantic dates like getting fitting for suits together (note to my bros, getting fitted for suits together is cool, firing loaded weapons next to my ear is not).

5.  Martin Scorsesse only directed the pilot episode of the series, but that hasn't stopped the show from having a top malt of directors. Last night's director Jeremy Podeswa continued with the subtle trend of showing the ceilings and high walls of every interior, a very subtle way of showing how trapped the characters of the show are.

6. I've been really enjoying the slow burn of "Boardwalk," sure sometimes the dialogue is a little watered down and there could be more action, but each week I return back to Dirty Jerz to my weekly drink.

No comments:

Post a Comment